#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

    Hong Kong is currently facing several significant sleep-related challenges that warrant attention. Firstly, a notable concern is the high prevalence of inadequate sleep among adults and adolescents. The latest community survey conducted by CUHK included over 4,000 adults and revealed that 41% of respondents reported an average sleep duration of seven hours or less on their usual days*1. This falls below the general recommendation of the National Sleep Foundation, which advises adults to aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Disturbingly, adolescents also face similar issues, with a majority of them (94%) failing to meet the recommended nine hours of sleep per day. Furthermore, 25% of adolescents reported less than seven hours of sleep, and over half of them (58.4%) perceived their sleep as insufficient.*2
    Secondly, insomnia remains a prevalent sleep disorder in Hong Kong. Approximately one-third of the local population experiences symptoms of insomnia, while around 10% exhibit more frequent symptoms indicative of an insomnia disorder.*3
    Thirdly, a lack of awareness regarding the importance of sleep is apparent among the general public. While healthy eating and regular exercise are commonly emphasized as vital components of a modern healthy lifestyle, sleep health is often overlooked. In Hong Kong, only half of the individuals who slept less than seven hours recognized the significance of adequate sleep, alongside a mere 12% who would prioritize maintaining a regular sleep schedule *1. Additionally, seeking assistance for sleep problems remains uncommon, as half of those experiencing insomnia never seek help for their condition *4.
    Lastly, findings from a recent study comparing data from two large-scale sleep surveys conducted seven years apart (2011-2012 and 2017-2019) suggest a worsening trend in sleep health among adolescents. The study discovered that Hong Kong adolescents were sleeping 30 minutes later on weekdays, but waking up almost an hour earlier on weekends, and spending 30 minutes less time in bed overall. These changes have resulted in an escalation of sleep loss among the younger generation, indicating a concerning decline in sleep health over the past years. 
    Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder around the globe. The local prevalence, as mentioned, is between 10-30% depending on the illness definition. Multiple reasons can lead to insomnia and here are the common ones: 
    First: Suboptimal sleep habits, which include irregular sleep-wake schedule, excessive use of caffeine, excessive napping in the daytime, and exposure to a lot of artificial light at night before bedtime. With the increasing use of electronic devices, not only does the engaging content keep us awake, but the blue light also has an alerting effect and it suppresses the release of melatonin, a key hormone to prepare us for sleep. 
    Secondly, our sleep can be affected by both mental and physical health issues. Stress and worries can increase insomnia, and sleep disturbance is one of the hallmark features of many mental disorders. Certain medical conditions like chronic pain, acid reflux, heart disease or thyroid problems can also interfere with sleep. 
    Thirdly, the use of certain substances or medications can also affect sleep. This may include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, steroids and narcotics. Withdrawal from certain substances such as hypnotics, and alcohol can also lead to insomnia. 
    The first step to motivate a change in healthy sleeping practices often involves education and knowledge-building. We aim to increase public awareness about the importance of sleep health, to enable them to recognize when there is a sleep problem and know the ways to seek help. 
    The Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine is dedicated to promoting clinical practice, knowledge and training in Sleep Medicine in Hong Kong. We conducted regular meetings for health care professionals and webinars about common sleep problems for the general public. On World Sleep Day 15 March 2024, we’ve shared tips to tackle insomnia with RTHK-English News. (please name a few hereWe advised individuals with insomnia to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule, avoid too much caffeine, do exercise, and get sunlight exposure in daytime. At night, try to keep the bedroom nice and cool, dim the light in the room and prepare yourself to bed by some relaxing activity, do not bring work or technology to bed. and Nonetheless, we understand that public engagement requires continuous efforts and we will continue to work on that. 
    It’s important to have good sleep, if we don’t, in the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, attention, and memory, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and mental health issues. It is important to educate young people early, by integrating sleep-related health education into the regular school curriculum, and to have concerted efforts from school, parents, and government to facilitate a sleep-friendly lifestyle for the youngsters. The government should be proactive in terms of screening individuals with sleep problems and to provide appropriate care.
    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to and all of you who are listening. My song is: "Be Still" by Janice Vidal. Enjoy and Thank you.

    1) Data from the CUHK-HKJC Sleep well project: https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-launches-the-jockey-club-sleep-well-project
    2) Data from CUHK study: https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-survey-reveals-majority-of-school-teens-have-insufficient-sleep
    CUHK research team launched a 2-year programme participated by a total of 4,456 adolescents from 14 schools in Hong Kong.  The programme revealed that during weekdays, a majority (94%) of the participants did not acquire 9 hours of sleep daily as recommended by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, a quarter (25%) had less than 7 hours of sleep while more than half (58.4%) rated themselves as having insufficient sleep.
    3) Zhang J, Li AM, Kong AP, Lai KY, Tang NL, Wing YK. A community-based study of insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese children: Prevalence, risk factors and familial aggregation. Sleep Med. 2009 Oct;10(9):1040-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2009.01.008.
    4) Liu Y, Zhang J, Lam SP, Yu MW, Li SX, Zhou J, Chan JW, Chan NY, Li AM, Wing YK. Help-seeking behaviors for insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese: a community-based study. Sleep Med. 2016 May;21:106-13. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2016.01.006. 

    19/05/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    19/05/2024 - Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    03 - 05


    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society


    iu Vor, Vice President of Hong Kong Entomological Society


    Faride Shroff, the Founder and CEO of SENsational Foundation


    Simon Wong, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades


    Ryan Yeung, Founder and CEO, Happy-Retired Charity Action


    Erica Lee, Director, The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association


    Christina Lee, Director of Wofoo Social Enterprises

    Paul Chan, Co-founder and CEO of Walk In Hong Kong

    World Heritage Day 2024 marks on 18th April. The significance of this occasion resonates deeply within me. Beyond its global celebration of heritage conservation, this day serves as a call to action for communities worldwide to reaffirm our dedication to protecting our heritage and cultural identity. Today, I'm compelled to share my thoughts not just as a seasoned heritage and cultural tour operator, but also as a passionate advocate for the preservation of our city's rich heritage and culture.

    Heritage transcends mere buildings and historic sites; it embodies the essence and identity of a city, weaving together the stories and memories of generations. Whenever I lead heritage tours and delve into the archives of old Hong Kong photographs, a profound sense of nostalgia washes over me. When I saw old pictures of the elegant colonial architecture of Central, the charming row of walk-up shophouses of Kowloon, or the rustic beauty of the New Territories – these are not mere structures but repositories of our collective history and livelihood. Sadly, many of these architectural gems have succumbed to the pressures of rapid urbanization and development.

    Witnessing the loss of our heritage is truly heartbreaking, as each demolition represents a potential loss of our remaining sites if we do not take decisive action. Once these architectural marvels are gone, they cannot be replaced, and with their disappearance, we lose a vital part of our cultural identity. Missed opportunities to leverage our heritage as a unique selling point for our city are evident, especially as we work towards revitalizing our tourism industry

    post-pandemic. Nevertheless, there is still time to effect change. Transitioning into a heritage advocate has led me to frequently ponder the relevance of my cause. To me, the answer is clear – we have a duty to conserve what makes our city exceptional. In a world saturated with standardized attractions and tourist traps, our heritage stands as a beacon of authenticity and uniqueness.

    Safeguarding our heritage is imperative if we wish to maintain our status as a leading tourism destination."

    That is the major reason why we launched the conservation campaign to save the State Theatre, the largest surviving standalone theatre building on Hong Kong Island. During the campaign, we've adopted a comprehensive approach with the hope of enhancing the survival chance of this building. Not only did we successfully lobby the theatre from a Grade 3 proposed Historic building status to that of Grade 1, but we also enhanced the public’s emotional attachment to the

    site through talks, walking tours, and interviews, etc. To this day, we persist in refining our strategies to strike a balance between conservation with economic sustainability.

    We know that heritage conservation isn't just about preserving physical structures; only by also excavating its stories and memories can we truly preserve the spirit of a place. That is why we have produced To Be Continued, a documentary which chronicles the life and legacy of State Theatre’s founder, Harry Odell, the first impresario in Hong Kong, whose relentless efforts to invite best performers from the world to Hong Kong has made our city already a “East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange” in the 1950s.

    We also recognize the crucial role of integrating heritage with sustainable tourism as a way to deepen our present connections to the past. As part of this recognition, we have launched a tourism innovation project supported by the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme. Our project aims to revitalise the villages of Sha Tau Kok and Yan Chau Tong areas by introducing immersive and sustainable tourism experiences in their Hakka villages. By leveraging the rich heritage of Hakka houses and the picturesque village landscapes, we curate unforgettable experiences such as seasonal dining against the backdrop of a majestic Hakka mansion. These immersive experiences enable both visitors and locals to connect with and embody the stories, memories, and rituals, thereby passing on the spirit of the past and its cultures to the present. We firmly believe that such emotional encounters are integral to our ongoing efforts to advance the cause of heritage conservation.

    As the Chinese proverb wisely reminds us, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Next Thursday, on 18th April,  I encourage you all to think about the ways we can increase awareness regarding the preservation of important monuments and cultures. Perhaps the most straightforward way to celebrate one’s cultural heritage on World Heritage Day is by authentically living one’s life in a way that embodies who we are and where we come from, but we can also think of the little ways we can protect our shared heritage and humanity. Look online to see if any community events are going on in the city that tell stories about our surroundings. Spread awareness by posting pictures of little-known historical sites on social media. World Heritage is about the humanity and stories we share, and our collective responsibility in keeping these stories and sites alive.

    I urge you all to join me in this journey to protect and preserve our heritage. Let us celebrate our past, embrace our present, and safeguard our future.


    14/04/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    14/04/2024 - Paul Chan, Co-founder and CEO of Walk In Hong Kong